El Salvador Proposes Tax to Fund Crime Fight

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El Salvador’s government has proposed a new tax, based mainly on Colombia’s experience from earlier this decade, to raise funds for combating crime.

Soaring crime has battered El Salvador, where street gangs and drug traffickers have given the Central American nation one of the highest murder rates in the world.

The plan for the new tax was developed after former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe visited the capital, reports La Prensa Grafica.

Colombia had success with similar measures. In 2002 then-President Uribe instituted a wealth tax which raised over $800 million, 70 percent of which was used to increase defense spending.

President Funes did not give a timetable for putting the plan before lawmakers, saying that he would carry out consultations with business groups and politicians first.

The Security Cabinet, political party leaders and the president have all been involved in discussions over plans to raise $380 million for security investment over this year and 2012.

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